Living in this Moment of God’s Unchanging Love

March 8, 2020

When we live in this moment, we live in a time of great speed, great change and great motion.  It is amazing.  This week we are invited to go to the Holy Mountain of God.  This place of revelation is something to which we are all accustomed.  At an early age we are told stories of great people unveiling their true self and we find security in these stories. When stories are told beginning with “Once upon a time…,“ we hear of love conquering all.  From Beauty and the Beast to Shrek, there is an unveiling of who is who and the true self brings true love.  We love stories where what was hidden is revealed.  The word “revelation” comes from a Latin root to unveil.  This Lent we are to be captivated as we were once upon a time and make this God’s time now.

What took place on the Mount of Transfiguration was an act of love.  Jesus is revealed; His true self comes out to shine with a powerful radiance.  The disciples are caught up in awe.  They are speechless.  How does the revelation of God impact our lives?  How do we move to places where we can be captivated by God’s love for us?  What took place upon a mountain was not a onetime occurrence.  God longs to reveal and unveil His love for us in our fast paced world.  We are summoned not just in the past but also in the present, to places where the love of God shows itself to us in ways that are unmistakable and undeniable.

What I have learned over the years is that we cannot control revelation, we cannot demand it and we cannot make it happen.  What takes place is a gift, solely from God in a way He chooses.  What we do have control of is how we position ourselves to be the best receivers.  How do we stay so open that we do not miss the personal mountain God wants us to climb so He can reinforce His love?  The mountain is not found in the accumulation of knowledge of theology or canon law.  It is not found in the answer to prayers and the multiplication and numeration of words.  Jesus took the disciples not to a temple, but to a mountain, outside of structure, outside of rituals of holiness.  In a moment that the disciples did not expect and did not prepare for, it happened.  That is the starting point of God’s time, living in His moment.  When I have been most sure of my uncertainty is when the Holy Spirit revealed the most profound truths in my life.  That is the paradox.  The challenge is to not be distracted, the challenge is to allow moments to be all that God wants them to be.

As you know, I love to golf, but most of my golf rounds are by myself, solo on the course.  Now many think I golf alone so I may cheat on my game when no one is looking.  But for me, it is not about getting the round done as much as it is about what God has done for me while I chase a white ball.  While I move in the midst of the course, at times I hear the bells of St. Anne or I see a tree in a different way.  As I look at the potential of the next shot, I gaze at things I never noticed before, even though I have been there before, but the light is different and I am different.  Golfing solo has changed the course of my life.  It is never about the score; rather it is about a great putt or being overwhelmed that I found the ball.  It is about sinking a long putt when I wasn’t trying and embracing the short one I missed.  What happens out there is I am present to a moment.  I am so present that I allow everything to become relevant.  I ask the Lord to let me see and hear and smell all that I am to take in.  How did this happen to me, a person who said I would never golf or take up the sport?  I have no idea, but in this chapter of my life it is a place, it is a teaching, it is real.

God will reveal, not because we want it, or ask for it, but because He chooses.

Reverend  John J. Ouper